Jan Sullivan scoots back on the brown suede couch, and her slippers dangle off the edge. At 4 feet 11, her toes don’t quite touch the floor.
She stares at a blue plastic cup filled with unsweet Lipton perched on her lap. Her cheeks are flushed, her eyes bloodshot. Her lips quiver. She’s 73, a hard, self-made woman, raised on corn farms and cattle ranches. She is not a crier. But these last seven months have tried her.
Behind the couch, a window overlooks her front yard. Past wind chimes suspended from of a banyan tree, a white 4 by 4 post is dug into the St. Augustine grass. The words on the sign are bold and bright red: “SOLD IN 1 DAY.”
It’s a two-bedroom, white and brown cinder block home in Bay Pines. The house isn’t fancy, but it’s hers. She doesn’t want to give it up.
For so long, Sullivan’s life was her job. She worked for Walmart for 22 years and six months — selling batteries and basketball hoops and shotguns, stocking shelves, greeting customers.
Then came Thanksgiving.
That night, she says, an angry Black Friday shopper shoved her. To catch her balance or to defend herself or both, she reached out and, for a few seconds, grabbed the woman’s sweater.
Three days later, Sullivan was fired.
Without a job, her life savings have dried up and, for the first time in her life, she owes thousands to a credit card company.
She feels ashamed. Deserted. Alone.
Another reason to hate Wal Mart, which I do…with a passion.